Mountain Valley Wants to Build Appalachian Pipeline

PITTSBURGH – Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC has filed its request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, for authorization to construct a 301-mile pipeline that would transport natural gas from the Utica and Marcellus shale plays to the Mid-Atlantic and Appalachian regions.

Mountain Valley is a joint venture between Pittsburgh-based EQT Midstream Partners LP and affiliates of NextEra Energy Inc., WGL Holdings Inc., Vega Energy Partners and RGC Resources.

EQT is the majority owner and would operate the system. The pipeline would begin in Wetzel County, W.Va., move south through 11 counties and then turn southeast through six counties in Virginia before ending in Pittsylvania County, Va.

The pipeline is expected to transport at least two billion cubic feet of gas per day. Pending regulatory approval, construction is projected to start in late 2016 and be in full service by the fourth quarter of 2018.

Once in service, annual taxes paid to West Virginia are projected at nearly $17 million, and more than $7 million in Virginia.

During construction, West Virginia is projected to realize local and state tax revenues of more than $47 million, while Virginia could reap more than $34 million.

EQT is placing special emphasis on its Utica shale holdings in southwestern Pennsylvania and the West Virginia panhandle. The company plans to drill 10 to 15 Utica wells in this region next year.

EQT’s initial Utica dry gas well in Pennsylvania has the potential to produce three to four times as much as an average Marcellus well. The one drawback is that the Utica is much deeper than the Marcellus, which drives up drilling costs.

During a conference call with analysts this week, David Porges, president and CEO of EQT, said that should the deep Utica program work, it’s “likely to be bigger than the Marcellus over time.”

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